Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Game 116 Recap - Pirates 9, Giants 2




The Pirates bounced back strong and earned a series win over the defending World Series champion Giants with a comfortable 9-2 win in San Diego. The win concluded 20 straight days of play and now they get a much needed day off before going to Milwaukee to start an important NL Central swing.

The Bucs never trailed in the game and busted open a two run game in the seventh inning and made the struggling Giants offense pay with a strong effort from Jeff Karstens. Ryan Ludwick, the RBI machine, opened the game up with a single to left field and then Andrew McCutchen went deep in the third and Matt Diaz drove home Steve Pearce in the third inning to extend the lead to 4-1.

After Orlando Cabrera singled home Aubrey Huff in the fourth inning the Giants were within striking distance, but the Pirates answered right back. Garrett Jones continued to stay hot and drove home a run in the fifth with a single to right and then the Pirates opened the gates in the seventh inning with three runs via a Diaz single and a Brandon Wood fielder’s choice grounder that the Giants turned into a two run error. Ronny Cedeno rounded out the scoring with a groundout in the ninth to score Mr. RBI (Ludwick).

Thoughts:

-Really nice outing from Karstens today. While he wasn’t as effective as he normally is (99 pitches in 6.0 innings) he didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine, which tied a season high for a Pirates starter. He gave up eight hits and only one of them went for extra bases. If you can keep the opponent to only singles and not walk anyone you are going to have a pretty good chance of picking up a win. Although he threw a good bit of pitches they were a ton of strikes. 70 of his 99 pitches went for strikes and he threw first pitch strikes to 18 of the 26 batters he faced. Not bad.

-Although he was only 1-for-1 McCutchen was the star of the show today. He had five plate appearances and drew three walks, got hit once, scored four runs and hit a massive bomb. I am talking 451 feet bomb. The Giants announces said that it was one of the farthest home runs they have seen this year at AT&T Park and it was every bit of 451 feet. He also stole two bases and pretty much could do no wrong. He looked confident and locked in and hopefully this leads to more games like this. This might have been the best all around game for McCutchen of the season.

-Ludwick continues to play well as he had three hits on the day and scored two runs. All of his hits were singles and it is interesting that Ludwick only had one extra base hit since being with the Pirates. Of his 13 hits while with the team only one of them has been more than a single and even more interesting that Ludwick has hits in five different games while with the Pirates and in four of those games have gone as multi hit games. Whatever.

The Pirates now finally have a day off and they will go to Milwaukee. I will be in Miller Park for the games on Friday and Saturday. Hopefully this goes well.

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